The Biology Portal

Introduction

A panoramic view from a ridge located between Segla and Hesten mountain summits in the island of Senja, Troms, Norway in 2014

Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of cells that process hereditary information encoded in genes, which can be transmitted to future generations. Another major theme is evolution, which explains the unity and diversity of life. Energy processing is also important to life as it allows organisms to move, grow, and reproduce. Finally, all organisms are able to regulate their own internal environments.

Biologists are able to study life at multiple levels of organization. From the molecular biology of a cell to the anatomy and physiology of plants and animals, and evolution of populations. Hence, there are multiple subdisciplines within biology, each defined by the nature of their research questions and the tools that they use. Like other scientists, biologists use the scientific method to make observations, pose questions, generate hypotheses, perform experiments, and form conclusions about the world around them.

Life on Earth, which emerged more than 3.7 billion years ago, is immensely diverse. Biologists have sought to study and classify the various forms of life, from prokaryotic organisms such as archaea and bacteria to eukaryotic organisms such as protists, fungi, plants, and animals. These various organisms contribute to the biodiversity of an ecosystem, where they play specialized roles in the cycling of nutrients and energy through their biophysical environment. (Full article...)

Refresh with new selections below (purge)

Selected article - show another

One of the large, detailed illustrations in Andreas Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica 16th century, marking the rebirth of anatomy
One of the large, detailed illustrations in Andreas Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica 16th century, marking the rebirth of anatomy

Anatomy (Greek anatomē, 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science which deals with the structural organization of living things. It is an old science, having its beginnings in prehistoric times. Anatomy is inherently tied to developmental biology, embryology, comparative anatomy, evolutionary biology, and phylogeny, as these are the processes by which anatomy is generated, both over immediate and long-term timescales. Anatomy and physiology, which study the structure and function of organisms and their parts respectively, make a natural pair of related disciplines, and are often studied together. Human anatomy is one of the essential basic sciences that are applied in medicine.

The discipline of anatomy is divided into macroscopic and microscopic. Macroscopic anatomy, or gross anatomy, is the examination of an animal's body parts using unaided eyesight. Gross anatomy also includes the branch of superficial anatomy. Microscopic anatomy involves the use of optical instruments in the study of the tissues of various structures, known as histology, and also in the study of cells. (Full article...)

Selected picture - show another

Mayflies are insects assigned to the Order Ephemeroptera. They are related to dragonflies and damselflies. Their development takes place in freshwater and typically takes a year. During that time, they are known as "nymphs". The adults are short-lived, from a few hours to a few days depending on the species. About 2,500 species are known worldwide. Depicted here is a female subimago of the March Brown, Rhithrogena germanica, which is a faunistic rarity and on the red list of endangered species.

Major topics

History History of biology | timeline of biology and organic chemistry | history of ecology | history of evolutionary thought | history of geology | history of model organisms | history of molecular biology | history of paleontology
Overview Biology | science | life | properties (adaptationenergy processinggrowthorderregulationreproduction, and response to environment) | hierarchy of life (atommoleculeorganellecelltissueorganorgan systemorganismpopulationcommunityecosystembiosphere) | reductionistic | emergent property | mechanistic | scientific method | theory | law | peer review | biology journals
Chemical basis Matter | elements | compounds | atoms | molecules | chemical bonds | carbon | organic compounds | macromolecules | carbohydrate | protein | protein structure | protein folding | lipid | DNA | RNA
Cells Prokaryote | eukaryote | cell wall | cell membrane | cytoskeleton | mitochondrion | chloroplast | nucleus | endoplasmic reticulum | Golgi apparatus | cell cycle | mitosis | metabolism | cell signaling | protein targeting | metabolism | enzyme | glycolysis | citric acid cycle | electron transport chain | oxidative phosphorylation |photosynthesis |meiosis  | mitosis
Genetics (Intro) Classical genetics | mendelian inheritance | gene | phenotype | genotype | ploidy | alternation of generations | molecular genetics | gene expression | gene regulation | genome | karyotype | DNA replication | transcription | translation | recombination | chromosome | epigenetics | splicing | mutation | genetic fingerprint | chromatin | ecological genetics | population genetics | quantitative genetics
Evolution (Intro)  | omne vivum ex ovo | Natural selection | genetic drift | sexual selection | speciation | mutation | gene flow | evolution of sex | biogeography | cladistics | species | extinction | tree of life | phylogenies | three-domain system
Diversity Bacteria | archaea | plants | angiosperms | fungi | protists | Animals | deuterostome | insects | molluscs | nematodes | parasitism | Primate | mammal | vertebrate | craniata | chordate | viruses
Plant form and function Epidermis | flower | ground tissue  | leaf | phloem | plant stem | root | shoot | vascular plant | vascular tissue | xylem
Animal form and function Tissues | fertilization | embryogenesis | gastrulation | neurulation | organogenesis | differentiation | morphogenesis | metamorphosis | ontogeny  | Development | senescence  | reproduction | oogenesis | spermatogenesis
Ecology Ecosystem | biomass | food chain | indicator species | habitat | species distribution | Gaia theory | metapopulation  | life cycle | Life history | altricial - precocial | sex ratio | altruism | cooperation - foraging | learning | parental care | sexual conflict | territoriality | biosphere | climate change | conservation | biodiversity | nature reserve | edge effect | allee effect | corridor | fragmentation | pollution | invasive species | in situ - ex situ | seedbank
Research methods Laboratory techniques | Genetic engineering | transformation | gel electrophoresis | chromatography | centrifugation | cell culture | DNA sequencing | DNA microarray | green fluorescent protein | vector | enzyme assay | protein purification | Western blot | Northern blot | Southern blot | restriction enzyme | polymerase chain reaction | two-hybrid screening | in vivo - in vitro - in silico | Field techniques | Belt transect | mark and recapture | species discovery curve
Branches Anatomy | biotechnology | botany | cell biology | ecology | evolutionary biology | genetics | marine biology | microbiology | molecular biology | mycology | neuroscience | paleontology | phycology | physiology | protistology | virology | zoology
Awards Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
See also Template:History of biology

Related portals

Selected biography - show another

Ann Bishop (19 December 1899 – 7 May 1990) was a British biologist from Girton College at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of the Royal Society, one of the few female Fellows of the Royal Society. She was born in Manchester but stayed at Cambridge for the vast majority of her professional life. Her specialties were protozoology and parasitology; early work with ciliate parasites, including the one responsible for blackhead disease in the domesticated turkey, lay the groundwork for her later research. While working towards her doctorate, Bishop studied parasitic amoebae and examined potential chemotherapies for the treatment of amoebic diseases including amoebic dysentery.

Her best known work was a comprehensive study of Plasmodium, the malaria parasite, and investigation of various chemotherapies for the disease. Later she studied drug resistance in this parasite, research that proved valuable to the British military in World War II. She discovered the potential for cross-resistance in these parasites during that same period. Bishop also discovered the protozoan Pseudotrichomonas keilini and worked with Aedes aegypti, a malaria vector, as part of her research on the disease. Elected to the Royal Society in 1959, Bishop was the founder of the British Society for Parasitology and served on the World Health Organization's Malaria Committee. (Full article...)

General images - load new batch

The following are images from various biology-related articles on Wikipedia.

Things you can do


Biology portals

Categories

Select [►] to view subcategories

More topics

WikiProjects

A complete list of scientific WikiProjects can be found here. See also Wikispecies, a Wikimedia project dedicated to classification of biological species.

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database